Bennie is in the area,halakasha!

2017-06-15 06:01
Benni McCarthy has taken over a challenging task as Cape Town City coach. Photo: Backpagepix

Benni McCarthy has taken over a challenging task as Cape Town City coach. Photo: Backpagepix

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It was a calculated gamble!

Even Cape Town City chairman John Comitis confirmed this when he appointed former Bafana Bafana superstar Benni McCarthy yesterday as Citizens’ new head coach on a three-year deal.

“Yes, it was a brave move,” said Comitis. “But it’s a calculated one. I have no doubt I have got the right man to take City forward.”

McCarthy (39) is Mzansi’s most popular player. He is Bafana’s leading goal-scorer with 32 international goals in 80 appearances for his country and is the only local born player to have won the Uefa Champions League with Porto under Jose Mourinho in 2004 – when the Portuguese giants beat Monaco 3-0 in the final. This is his first time as head coach.

McCarthy was previously an assistant coach for a season in the Belgian Pro-League at Sint Truiden.

He said he was aware people would say he is inexperienced: “All I can say I have seen the best managers in the world fail, so why not try someone new?

“I am grateful my first opportunity is with my home town club, with the players, board and technical team that have already been successful. I hope we will be able to change Cape Town football again and compete with the giants in Joburg.”

Comitis disclosed that he had received 22 CVs including the one of former Orlando Pirates treble-winning coach Rudd Krol since Eric Tinkler quit and joined SuperSport United last week.

Said Comitis: “It was very encouraging getting so many CVs from some of the world’s top coaches. But I knew what we wanted and Benni was our man from the start.

“All I had to do was align him to our way of thinking, and that is to leave a lasting football legacy in Cape Town.”

Life has come full circle for both Comitis and McCarthy.

Explained Comitis: “I gave Benni his first start as a professional player when I was in charge of Cape Town Spurs (in 1995) and now I have given him his first chance as head coach. I have no doubt Benni will grab this chance and succeed.

“This is a fresh start for us. We did well last season finishing third, winning the Telkom Knockout and qualifying for the Caf Confederation Cup next year. But now the players will have to prove themselves all over again under Benni and that will keep everyone on their toes.”

Apart from Porto, McCarthy has played in Europe for Celta Vigo (Spain), Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United (both England) and finished his career at Orlando Pirates. He begins work on 1 July.

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